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    • Reasons For Hope (1): The Solutions Are Known
      Ok, this place has mostly been about how fucked we are, and how we’ve fucked up. Blame is more on our leaders than us, but as a species we’re on the hook. But there is cause of hope because mostly we know what we have to do. We know we have to reduce CO2 and Methane emissions. We even know mostly how. We pretend we don’t, because the how will involve changin […]
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Under Pressure.

Observations the day before the most consequential election in American history:

1.) The media wants a photofinish. Our adrenal glands have been pushed to the limit as a result. No one I know wants to watch Steve Kornacki manically bounce around in front of a map like a kid on 5 boxes of chocolate frosted sugar bombs. It’s not fun anymore. It wasn’t ever fun. It sure wasn’t fun when we watched CNN waiting breathlessly for Trump to make some “major” announcement at a press conference in 2016 only to find he was just going to promote one of his golf resorts in Scotland. Yeah, they were had. They looked stupid and gullible and the MAGA nuts were rolling in the aisles laughing their asses off. But what was really disappointing is that the media didn’t stop letting us down. It just kept feeding us whatever it was it thought we were reacting to.

But no one wants a horse race. No one wants reporters with ADHD jumping up and down shrieking about who’s ahead by a nose as we come down to the finish line.

All we want is more signal and less noise. Is that so much to ask??

It’s like all these Ivy League alumni with connections at the most prestigious media outlets have zero capacity or incentive to do “journalism”. They’re always crafting a narrative of their own making and trying to shoe horn the rest of us into it. But I am not some 74 year old white man in Iowa who spends my days drinking coffee and eating ham with red eye gravy at a diner and I’m sick of pretending that these guys and their younger 2A grievance filled alter egos have the only opinions that matter.

I just read some idiot on Twitter proclaim Allegheny County in PA as being “very red”. Anyone who actually lives here knows how ridiculous that is. But I have heard a succession of reporters come to the same conclusion because they go to one suburb of crazy MAGA nuts and extrapolate. What is the point? When the numbers roll in, Allegheny county is only going to be a mystery to the media mouthpieces who stereotyped this region based on their own prejudices. It’s western PA. It’s not Philadelphia. But it’s technically Appalachia and that might as well be Hillbilly Elegy territory instead of the tech, robotics and healthcare research hub with a rich diversity of well educated people that Allegheny county is increasingly becoming.

My point is that media should just stop acting like it knows anything about anything and start telling the real stories that are far more interesting than its preconceived notion of what it’s like to live anywhere west of New York City and Washington.

2.) People in the same narrow demographic as Elon Musk should not exist. What I mean to say is that unlimited wealth and the increasing privatization of American assets is dangerous. For some time now, I have been very uneasy with the concept of the US turning its space capabilities over to companies like SpaceX and whatever that blue phallic monstrosity is that Jeff Bezos is firing into orbit.

Yes, it is way cool to watch reuseable rockets land with pinpoint precision on floating landing pads. But when our national security goals clash with profits of private enterprise, national security must come first. I’m sorry if the generation of Reagan’s manifesto that government is always evil is having fits about that but it’s been on my mind for a few years now and I couldn’t put my finger on why it bothered me until recently when the controversy around the use of starlink in Ukraine came up. We can not have an eccentric billionaire playing Secretary of State because he has a tool that we helped him launch into space but we also have little control over. No. We can’t ever allow that anymore. It’s like letting the fossil fuel industry decide the direction of our society and culture going forward like it has for the last hundred years. We’ve given private entities with clear conflicts of interest the ability to direct our lives as they see fit. We can’t have a democracy under those circumstances.

I don’t know what idiotic contracts Trump cut for private business to take over parts of our collective American legacy but we need to take our shit back. The safety and prosperity of the nation and the world depends on it. It’s time to put business and financiers back in their lanes.

3.) I’m burned out, people. But every time I feel I’ve hit my limit with the mountains of bullshit I have to climb everyday, I realize that I can’t stop. If I don’t keep going and caring, if there weren’t commenters and podcasters and voices out there making noise and those of us who care deeply picking up the signal, it would be a much darker and disturbing America to live in. So I’m not giving up no matter how tired I am. At least the lights are still on and the water is safe to drink (for most of us).

I’m picking up faint signals that some of us are coming to our senses again. Maybe the MAGA Mafia has gone too far. Maybe we are not quite at the tipping point. We’re close but they haven’t quite accomplished their goals.

I think it all starts with listening to that voice inside you. What are my values? What do I really believe will lead to the most happiness for the greatest number of people? What is good and honorable? Am I living up to that or am I letting down the better angels of my nature? When I have the choice to do what is right or do what is convenient, what voice am I listening to?

I think that the only way out of this conundrum we are in is to revisit our consciences. More Mr. Rogers neighborhood and less zombie apocalypse Whisperers. We all hang together or we will all surely hang separately.

We are all connected. Once we recognize that, it’s much harder to cut off parts of our body to cripple ourselves when someone crazy hands us a chainsaw.

***********

Put the message in the box
Put the box into the car
Drive the car around the world
Until you get heard

Until you get heard, until you get heard
Until you get heard, until you get heard